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Sun, Jan 10, 2010
The New Paper
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Women here prefer reduction surgery instead
by Elysa Chan

WOMEN around the world have often looked to Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice for the latest fashion trends.

The fashionista who got women flocking to hair salons here to request for the Pob - the bob hairstyle she sported - is now making ripples with her large nipples, it seems.

The former member of the Spice Girls had recently been spotted going bra-less in a tight-fitting translucent black top, sparking off a nipple surgery craze.

A medical centre in the UK recently saw a 30 per cent rise in the number of nipple surgery requests over the last 12 months, reported the Daily Mail.

Dr Riccardo Frati, a cosmetic surgeon for the Harley Medical Group, said: 'Until now, celebrities didn't expose their nipples, so there were no 'nipple role models'.

'In the past, I've had patients coming to my surgery clutching pictures of celebrities like Katie Price and saying 'I'd like breasts like hers', but now there's a chance that Mrs Beckham's designer nipples could be the next big thing for 2009.'

But in Singapore, women who go for surgery are bucking the trend.

They are asking for smaller nipples.

Plastic surgeons here say local patients tend to ask for nipple reduction, rather than nipple enhancement, as Asian women tend to have bigger nipples than their Western counterparts.

Dr Ivor Lim, from Ivor J Lim Plastic Surgery, said Asian nipples tend to have too much bulk, causing the nipple to hang down and look distorted.

'To make it more perky, we reduce the length and circumference of the nipple,' he said.

On the other hand, most Caucasian women have big areolas (coloured skin surrounding the nipple) but small nipples, so nipple enhancement would work better for them, said another plastic surgeon, Dr Martin Huang.

Most of his patients, he said, are Chinese women whose nipples have gotten bigger after breastfeeding, and would need nipple reduction surgery.

South Korea-based surgeon Kim Byung Gun told The New Paper on Sunday in a phone interview from Seoul that while nipple-reduction surgery is traditionally popular with older women who have given birth, more singles want this surgery as they 'do not want people to think that they were pregnant before'.

Dr Kim, who performs 20 to 30 nipple reduction surgeries a month, said: 'Small, light-coloured nipples are considered pretty, because they are a symbol of youth and virginity.'

Another plastic surgeon, Dr Woffles Wu, who has been performing nipple surgeries for the past 15 years, said: 'The Asian ethic of what beauty is places more emphasis on women looking like virginal beauties.

'Big, grisly nipples that look like shrunken rambutans are a turn-off.

'That's why women with big, prune-like nipples often ask me to trim them down and make them smaller, so they look like buds and like virgins' breasts.'


However, it is a matter of proportion, consultant plastic surgeon Dr Marco Faria Correa noted.

'Disproportionately large nipples make the breast look ugly,' he said.

'For D-cup breasts with an areola between 5cm and 6cm in diameter, nipples can be as big as 1.5cm in diameter and height.

'However, for woman with smaller breasts, a nipple that is bigger than 4mm can look too big.'

Nipple surgery costs around $2,000 here, and takes around an hour to complete, say doctors.

Besides nipple reduction surgery, doctors here often get requests to correct inverted nipples.

Patients want such surgery when their nipples are 'sucked into the breast, and look like slits', said Dr Huang.

While nipple surgery poses few risks and does not leave a scar, Dr Kim said that surgery to correct inverted nipples may cause permanent damage if things go wrong.

'There's a risk of cutting a duct which enables the patient to breastfeed,' he said.

'But if she suffers from an inverted nipple in the first place and does not go for the correction, she would not be able to breastfeed anyway.'

There are also procedures to correct the colour of nipples, such as tattooing the nipples.

Dr Wu also recommends using Vitamin C and E compounds, which lighten the colour of nipples and improve their texture.

Explaining why the Victoria Beckham nipple craze has not taken hold here, he said: 'Celebrities don't trigger off plastic surgery trends, which are not like hairstyle or fashion trends. Patients have to want their nipples improved in the first place.'

Do Singaporean men want their women to have bigger nipples?

A straw poll of 30 men aged 20 to 40 revealed that most do not have a preference for larger or smaller nipples, though most said they find plastic surgery a turn-off.

Student Marcus Chy, 23, said: 'Nipples are like earlobes, they are not important, so I don't really have a preference for larger or smaller ones.'



Who could forget the sight of Janet Jackson's exposed breast adorned with a sun-shaped nipple ring during a performance with Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Superbowl?


Popular with male rock stars like Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose, singer Lenny Kravitz and Green Day drummer Tre Cool


Skin-toned nipple stickers are the norm for those avoiding a boob blunder, but singer Rihanna flaunts her assets with silver star-shaped nipple pasties.

This article was first published in The New Paper

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